Food briefs for April 19-25 (2023)

Tapas Thursday returns to Twenty/20:Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar in Carlsbad has brought back Tapas Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to dusk. Small plates start at $2 on a weekly rotating menu; nightly wine specials are also available.

Park Hyatt launches Pranzo lunch service:Park Hyatt Aviara Hotel in Carlsbad has introduced Pranzo at Vivace, a new Italian family-style lunch menu. Served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, the prix-fixe menu features antipasti (oysters, artisan burrata, house-cured salami), entrees and side dishes (Wood Roasted Tenderloin With Beef Sugo, Roasted Sea Bass With Grilled Meyer Lemon, Capers And Brodo; Ravioli al Formaggio With Mushroom Ragu And Huckleberries) and desserts (cannoli, zeppole, tiramisu). Cost is $45, which includes a glass of Prosecco, antipasti buffet, choice of one pasta or entree plus side dish, and dessert buffet. A menu is available for children under 12. Visit or call 760-448-1234.

Personal chef expands into North County: Chef Jessica Veseskis of San Diego is now offering her Entree Nous personal meal preparation service in North County cities. Veseskis tailors menus to clients’ tastes and dietary needs and prepares a week’s worth of meals at a time for home or vacation. She also offers catering for parties up to 100. Vesesjus holds a culinary degree from La Varenne, Burgundy, and the Johnson and Wales Culinary School. Visit or call 619-316-2472.


Whole Foods bans red-rated fish:On April 22, Whole Foods Markets will no longer sell red-rated wild-caught fish as part of its commitment toward sustainable seafood. A red rating from the Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium indicates the species is suffering from overfishing or that fishing methods for this species harm other marine life or habitats. Whole Foods will no longer carry Atlantic halibut, grey sole and skate (joining bluefin tuna and orange roughy, which haven’t been sold by the company in several years).

R.B. Inn celebrates Derby: Rancho Bernardo Inn will host a Kentucky Derby race party on May 5, with food and drink specials in The Bar and a hat contest judged by El Bizcocho chef Nicolas Bour, who will call in via videophone to pick the winner from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., where he flies next week to take part in several Derby-related cooking events.

Hot dog shop turns 1: To celebrate its first anniversary, the Encinitas location of Hot Dog on a Stick will offer a free lemonade with any regular food item purchase on May 5 and 6, as well as a free hot dog on a stick from 3 to 4 p.m. both days. The Encinitas store at 260 N. El Camino Real, Suite B, is only the second store in the 65-year-old Carlsbad-based chain’s history to be located outside a shopping mall (the other is in Santa Monica).

Chef honored for sustainable efforts: San Diego chef Andrew Spurgin will receive the San Diego Ocean Foundation’s Dr. Roger Revelle Perpetual Award to honor his efforts promoting the use of, and education about, sustainable seafood. The award is given each year to a San Diegan in science, academia, industry, military or other field who demonstrates a personal initiative in encouraging stewardship of ocean resources. Spurgin ---- executive chef/partner for Campine, A Culinary + Cocktail Conspiracy, and co-founder of Passionfish and Cooks Confab, will receive his award at the 27th annual Oceans Benefit Gala from 6-10 p.m. April 26 at SeaWorld San Diego. Spurgin and several other local chefs will present sustainable seafood tastings at the event. Tickets are $150. Visit .

Spring Cake Show:Roz’s Sweet Art Studio in San Marcos hosts its fourth annual Cake Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 28. Themed “Spring Awakening/Blooming Babies,” the show will feature contests for amateur and professional cake decorators in youth, teen and adult categories. Call 760-744-0447.

Stamp Out Hunger mail drop:The National Association of Letter Carriers and Campbell’s Soup host the 20th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive on May 12. Residents are encouraged to leave a bag of nonperishable foods next to their mailbox before delivery time that day. Last year, mail carriers picked up more than 70 million pounds of food that was donated to food banks.

New “lady chef” at St. Germain’s in May: Chef Kari Rich will take over the kitchen May 1 at St. Germain’s Bistro & Cafe as part of the Encinitas restaurant’s yearlong “Lady Chefs” series, with different local female chefs alternating in the kitchen each month. Rich is the owner of Food Farm Truck and the winning chef at the 2010 and 2011 I Love Poke Festivals. Her May menu will include a smoked octopus salad, grass-fed beef sliders, Cajun-style blackened cod, Kimchi Chicken in a Bibb and more. Visit .

Jsix plans gluten-free menus: In honor of Celiac Awareness Month in May, Jsix Restaurant in San Diego will present a different gluten-free prix-fixe three-course menu for each week in May. Cost is $30. Menus are online at or call 619-531-8744.

Brazen BBQ launches Saloon Specials:The Hillcrest restaurant has launched a new menu of specialty cocktails priced from $7-$8.50, including 5-Alarm Brazen Mary, Back Porch Lemonade, Blazin’ Sunrise and Moscow Mule, with happy hour specials from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and all day Sundays at 441 Washington St., San Diego.

Seasons 52 planned in La Jolla: Seasons 52, described as a fresh grill and wine bar restaurant, will open in spring 2013 in the Westfield UTC mall in La Jolla. The restaurant will have a seasonal menu, built-in wine cellar, piano bar and two private dining rooms. There are 22 Seasons 52 locations nationwide including one at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Three more California locations are planned this year in malls in Santa Monica, L.A. and Sacramento.


Sustainable Seafood Week under way:Through April 25, several San Diego County restaurants are offering seafood specials and pre-fixe menus through April 25 with a portion of sales benefiting the San Diego Oceans Foundation. Saltbox Dining & Drinking is offering a $45, three-course seafood menu; Gabardine in Point Loma will offer a three-course $40 menu that will change daily; George’s California Modern in La Jolla will offer its long-established menu of sustainable fish and shellfish; and in the Gaslamp Quarter, Gaijin is offering Uni Green Tea Soba Noodles, and Donovan’s Prime Seafood is serving Skuna Bay Vancouver Island Craft Raised Salmon.

Taste of Hillcrest: More than 40 restaurants in the Hillcrest area will offer menu samples from noon to 4 p.m. April 21. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Visit or 619-233-5008.

Wine & Dine: Prohibition: West Gaslamp Quarter hosts a 1920s Prohibition-style speakeasy party from 7 to 11 p.m. April 21. The party will include tastings from more than 50 wineries, breweries, spirits-makers, restaurants and specialty food makers, a cigar lounge, celebrity host, live jazz music and professional dancers. Tickets are $150 and benefit Elderhelp of San Diego.

Royal India marks PunjabNew Year:Royal India Restaurant in downtown San Diego celebrates Punjab New Year with its fifth annual Bollywood Bash, where customers on April 21 and 22 can order a three-course $59.99 three-course menu and enjoy live music, Indian dancing, champagne and Indian dessert. Visit or call 619-296-9999.

Wine & Dine Fundraiser: ElderHelp hosts its 15th annual fundraiser from 7 to 11 p.m. April 21 at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter. This year’s event will have a Prohibition theme and will include handmade cocktails, food from several downtown restaurants, live entertainment and dancing. Tickets are $150 ($200 at the door). Reserve to or 619-284-9281, ext. 112. Reserve to .

South Coast hosts wine weekend:On April 21 and 22, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa in Temecula and the Wine Institute will co-host several wine-themed events. At 4:30 p.m. April 21, a Down to Earth Winemakers Dinner is planned, followed at 8 p.m. by a Rhythm on the Vine artist showcase featuring singer-songwriter Jana Kramer. Then at 4 p.m. April 22, the public is invited for a Blessing of the Vines and Earth Day Wine Blending Competition. For tickets, visit or call 951-587-9463.

Sustainable Feast:The Outdoor Education Foundation will host its second Sustainable Feast from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 22 at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Chefs from San Diego and Tijuana, as well as Stone Brewing Co., will work with local farms to cook, educate and raise money for the foundation’s 6th Grade Camp initiative. Participating chefs include Ricardo Heredia of Alchemy, Chad White of Gabardine, Javier Plasencia of Mision 19 in Tijuana, Jonathan Hale of The Prado, Katherine Humphus of Bo Beau Kitchen + Bar, and more. Go to .

Meet the Chefs of Del Mar: Casa de Amparo hosts the 16th annual culinary event, where chefs from several Del Mar-area restaurants will prepare samples from their menu from 1 to 4 p.m. April 22 at the Hilton Del Mar, 15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. Tickets are $150 and benefit Casa de Amparo programs. Visit or call Keely Tidrow at 760-754-5500, ext. 23.

San Diego Jewish Food Festival:Temple Adat Shalom presents its third annual celebration of Jewish food from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 22 at 15905 Pomerado Road in Poway. Cooking demonstrations will be offered throughout the day by Ron Oliver (The Marine Room), Matt Gordon (Urban Solace, Solace & the Moonlight Lounge), Amanda Baumgarten (“Top Chef” and soon-to-open Herringbone in La Jolla), Flor Franco (Indulge Contemporary Catering) and Sara Polczynski (Cohn Restaurants pastry chef). There will be live music, vendor booths and children’s activities. Tickets are $10. Visit .

(Video) A Week at the Plot, 19 - 25 April 2021 - Week 52!!

Wild Note Cafe beer dinner:Wild Note Cafe in Solana Beach will host its first beer pairing dinner at 6:30 p.m. April 23 with Stone Brewing Co. Stone CEO Greg Koch will talk about the pairings, which include: Chinese Chicken Salad With Stone Pale Ale, Slow Cooked BBQ Pork Belly With Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale And Stone Smoked Porter, Chocolate Sundae With Stone Imperial Russian Stout (also in the brownies). The dinner is $49; go to or call 858-481-8040.

Chef Celebration Dinner: Terra American Bistro hosts this annual dinner to raise money for culinary scholarships on April 24. A prix-fixe, three-course menu priced at $65 (plus $18 wine pairings) will be prepared by chefs Jeff Rossman (Terra, Bunz), Chad White (Gabardine, Sea Rocket), Anthony Sinsay (Burlap), Evan Cruz (Kitchen 1540) and Augie Saucedo (Sycuan). Reserve to 619-293-7088.

Quarterly Cigar & Beer Dinner: Hennessey’s Vista and Cigar Grotto of Oceanside co-host a four-course dinner that will include two cigars and samples beer from Latitude 33 at 6:30 p.m. April 26 at 224 Main St., Vista. Dishes include gourmet sausages, lamb shank in mint rosemary sauce and hot fudge brownie. Tickets are $54.95. Reserve to or call 760-722-1602.

Oceans Benefit Gala:The San Diego Oceans Foundation will host the 27th annual Oceans Benefit Gala: A Sustainable Seafood Celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. April 26 at SeaWorld San Diego’s Turtle Reef and Shark Encounter exhibits. The gala will feature sustainable seafood tastings prepared by local chefs, Karl Strauss beer, Vesper Vineyards wine and Ballast Point vodka, as well as music, auctions, a raffle, a photo booth and more. Go to .

Taste of Temecula Valley: The event will feature more than 100 booths hosted by restaurants and wineries from the Temecula area from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. April 28 in Old Town Temecula’s Town Square. The tasting will feature live music by local bands on two stages. Tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up and free for children age 12 and under. Admission includes one “taste” ticket. Additional tickets are $2 each. Reserve to or 866-653-8696.

Harrah’s Rincon hosts farmers market:Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort in Valley Center will host its farmers market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 28. The market will feature fresh fruits and vegetables, plants and succulents, music and more. Call 760-751-3211.

Great Park Artisan Food & Arts Festival: Orange County Great Park hosts a daylong culinary festival featuring Orange County restaurant chefs and artisan foodmakers sampling their menus, doing cooking demonstrations and selling their wares from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 28 at Hangar 244 and nearby buildings at Sand Canyon and Marine Way in Irvine. There will also be an art exhibition. Call 949-724-6247.

Chef Celebration Dinner: The Shores Restaurant in La Jolla hosts this dinner May 1 to raise money for culinary scholarships. A prix-fixe three-course menu priced at $65 will be prepared by chefs Ami DiBiase (Shores), Jason Knibb (Nine-Ten), Anthony Sinsay (Burlap), Bernard Guillas and Ron Oliver (Marine Room), Michael Lina (Crush) and Hanis Cavin (Carnitas Snack Shack). Reserve to 858-829-2927.

Island Divine Isla Mujeres: The Junior League of San Diego presents a wine-and-dine tasting from 3 to 7 p.m. May 5 in Ellen Browning Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove. More than 50 restaurants, wineries, breweries and spirits purveyors will offer samples, and there will be live music and a silent auction to benefit League charities. Tickets are $70. Visit or 619-233-5008.

Puesto hosts Cinco de Mayo special:Puesto Mexican Food in La Jolla will offer a prix-fixe Cinco de Mayo meal special on May 5 and 6, with three tacos and a beer for $10. Visit .

Artisan Food & Craft Beer Festival:From noon to 3 p.m. May 6, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido hosts this festival to raise money for Chef Celebration culinary scholarships. Ten chefs will prepare dishes from their menus that will each be paired with two beers. Participating are chefs from Stone, Sea Rocket Bistro, EAT Marketplace, BlueFire Grill, Wild Thyme, Alchemy, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, La Valencia and Evolve with beers from Stone, Lost Abbey, Port Brewing, Ballast Point, AleSmith and Beachwood Brewing. Tickets are $65. Visit .

Night at the Mission Wine Tasting:The Mission San Luis Rey will host its annual wine tasting event at 6:30 p.m. May 11 in Oceanside. Event includes wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres, live music by Lyndon Pugeda and silent auction. Tickets are $25 ($30 at the door) and benefit the Old Mission Montessori School. Reserve to 760-213-5622.

Eat. Drink. Read.:The San Diego Council on Literacy hosts a gourmet dining event where San Diego chefs will create dishes inspired by their favorite books from 5:30-8 p.m. May 16 at the NTC Promenade’s McMillan Event Center, 2875 Dewey Road, San Diego. Tickets are $60 and include food, wien, beer and appetizers. Visit .

Mama’s Day:San Diego’s largest one-night culinary event takes place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. May 11 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. More than 55 chefs from top San Diego restaurants, hotels and catering companies will serve menu samples to some 700 attendees. Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien will host the fundraiser for Mama’s Kitchens, which delivers free hot meals to San Diego residents with AIDS and cancer. Tickets are $125 or $150 at the door. VIP tickets, which include a pre-party at 5:30 p.m., are $250. Visit or call 619-233-6262.

SummerSalt Showdown: Saltbox Dining & Drinking chef Simon Dolinky and mixologist Erin Williams will host a food and drink contest from 1 to 4 p.m. May 12 on the Hotel Palomar pool deck. Chef/mixologist teams from Gabardine & Snake Oil, Quality Social, Craft & Commerce, the Grant Grill and Jsix will compete to make the best bite and cocktail with themed ingredients. Tickets are $20, include bites and drinks, and proceeds benefit Olivewood Gardens. Visit .

Elizabethan tea parties:Elizabethan Desserts in Encinitas will host its first Mother’s Day teas from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 12 and 13. For $15, guests will enjoy coffee, tea or lemonade with mini tea cakes, scones, pie bites and whoopie pies. For $25, savory tea-size artisan sandwiches on fresh-baked bread will be served as well. Visit or 760-230-6780.

Taste of Cardiff: Cardiff 101 Main Street’s third annual restaurant tasting event from 5 to 8 p.m. May 17 will feature more than 20 area restaurants. Tickets are $25 ($30 at the door) at the Cardiff 101 office at 124 Aberdeen Drive. Visit for participants.

Wine, Brews and Blues Festival: Rotary Club of Bonsall hosts its 17th annual fundraising gala with more than 80 wineries, six local breweries and a dozen local and national food vendors from 5:30 to 10 p.m. May 19 at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The event includes a silent auction and live music on two stages by the Bill Magee Blues Band, Antonio Pontarelli, Restless Blues Band, Not for Hire and Euphoria Brass Band. Tickets are $65, or $45 for designated drivers. .

Le Diner a San Diego: Tickets are now on sale for this unique dining event, described as a flash mob underground dinner party, which makes its first Southern California appearance on May 25 in San Diego. Launched a few years ago in Europe,Le Dinerarrived in the U.S. last year, with an outdoor picnic-style pop-up dinner party for 3,500 in San Francisco. Details and location of the dinner party are kept secret until the day of the event, but as many as 4,000 people will be invited. Diners are asked to dress in all white and bring their own food, beverages, chairs, linens, utensils and table decor. Tables will be provided. Cost is $100 per table of four. To register, visit

I Love Poke Festival:The third annual Hawaiian foodie and culture fest takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. May 30 at the Bali Hai Resort in San Diego. Fifteen San Diego chefs will compete for the poke-making crown. Poke is a Hawaiian delicacy made with raw ahi tuna cut into cubes and seasoned lightly with soy sauce,limu(seaweed) and sesame oil. Celebrity judges include Brian Malarkey and Transworld Surf editor Chris Cote. Tickets are $50, with 10 percent of proceeds benefiting the Kona-California Scholarship. For tickets, visit .

Seventh annual Rib Fest: The Ramona Community Center hosts its annual benefit for the Ramona Nutrition Center from 11 a.m. to 7:3 p.m. June 2 at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center Pavilion, 421 Aqua Lane in Ramona. Tickets are $15 and include all-you-can-eat barbecue dinner with sides and non-alcoholic beverages. A $2 children’s hot dog lunch is available, along with bake sale items and a raffle. Call 760-789-0440.

Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival: The Women’s Museum of California hosts its fifth annual gourmet festival from 6:30-9:30 p.m. June 15 at its museum in Balboa Park. Dozens of chocolatiers, wineries and cheese vendors will offer samples and there will be live music by the Sue Palmer Band. Tickets are $35 ($40 after June 1) and includes 10 tasting tickets and a swag bag. Reserve to 619-233-7963.

Taste of Orange County: After a 22-year absence, the Orange County food and wine festival will be revived June 16 and 17 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine. Organizers expect 20,000 people to attend the showcase of more than 50 Orange County restaurants and more than 75 wineries, which also features cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, a wine auction, seminars and live entertainment. Tickets are $40 per day and will go on sale in March at .

San Diego SausageFest: San Diego’s JSix Restaurant hosts the inaugural celebration of homegrown sausage at 5:30 p.m. June 20 on its rooftop lounge. Twelve San Diego sausagemakers will compete in this cook-off where the public votes in the winner. Tickets are $10 for sausage samples. Beer must be purchased separately. Visit or call 619-531-8744.

Red Door Chef’s Market Dinners: Chef Miguel Valdez of The Red Door in Mission Hills will lead diners on a farm-to-table culinary evening at 5:15 p.m. June 20. Guests will meet Valdez at the restaurant, take a culinary tour of the Mission Hills Farmers Market where he’ll talk to farmers and purchase items for dinner, then they’ll return to the restaurant for a four-course dinner. Cost is $45 or $75 with wine pairings. Visit or call 619-295-6000.

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Taste of Little Italy: The Little Italy Association presents this neighborhood food and drink safari with more than a dozen participating venues from 5 to 9 p.m. June 20 on India Street and surrounding areas. Tickets are $35 ($40 at the door). Visit or 619-615-1092.

Del Mar Summer Solstice: Del Mar Village Association hosts its annual Summer Solstice event from 5 to 8 p.m. June 21 in Powerhouse Poark at 1658 Coast Blvd. More than 20 Del Mar retaurants and 15 California wineries will offer tastings, with live music and a silent auction. Tickets are $50 through April 30 and $60 thereafter. Visit .

Pechanga Competitive BBQ Festival: Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula hosts its inaugural, Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned contest from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 23. More than 40 registered judges will rate the work of barbecue teams from all over the country. Tickets are $5 and taste tickets are $2. Beer garden will be available. Visit .

Pechanga Microbrew Festival & Chili Cook-Off: Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula hosts the fourth annual event featuring samplings by dozens of brewers and microbrewers from around the country and food samples from Pechanga restaurants from 1 to 5 p.m. July 14. Tickets are $45. Visit .


Amigo’s, Pala Casino Spa & Resort: Chef Robert Camerota’s new menu mixes Mexican-American and traditional Mexican dishes, including Chile Colorado made with filet mignon tips, Tijuana-style beef and pork street tacos, Shrimp Fajitas, flautas, seven varieties of salsa from mild to “mucho caliente” and Fried Bread Tacos made with Pala tribal bread. There’s also a full American-inspired breakfast menu. Visit .

Anthology, Little Italy: Chef Todd Allison’s new seafood-heavy menu includes Sake Steamed Black Mussels with ginger, mint, basil and hearts of palm; Grilled Sausage and Mustard; Octopus Carpaccio; Red Romaine Greek Salad; Harissa Marinated Swordfish Skewers; Pan Roasted Sea Bass; Szechwan Pepper Crusted Local Albacore; and Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops. Visit .

Applebee’s: The casual sit-down restaurant chain has introduced a Pick ‘N Pair lunch menu, where diners can pair two items for a possible 75 combinations of sandwiches, salads and soups. New additions to the menu include Fried Green Tomato & Turkey Club sandwich, Roast Beef, Bacon & Mushroom Melt and Fiesta Chicken Chopped Salad. The Pick ‘N Pair menu is available weekdays only (and some locations on Saturdays). Visit .

The Counter:The Counter Custom Built Burgers restaurants are celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month in April, with weekly grilled cheese sandwich specials priced at $7 and up. Through April 8, the sandwich includes Tillamook cheddar, American cheese, black forest ham, fried onion strings and sweet barbecue sauce; from April 9-15, it’s a grilled jalapeno jack and Tillamook cheddar sandwich with jalapenos, tomatoes and chipotle aioli; April 16-22, try the feta, provolone, cucumber, olive, spinach and sundried tomato vinaigrette sandwich; and April 23-29, it’s a grilled blue and Swiss cheese sandwich with spinach, roasted red peppers and basil pesto. Visit .

Flavor Del Mar, Del Mar: Chef Brian Redzikowski’s new dishes include Skuna Bay Salmon with endive, tangerine, zucchini, tomato confit and olive oil pudding; Alaskan King Crab Hand Roll with soy paper, sesame, fried onion and pickled carrot; Lobster-Prosciutto “Bouillabaise” with sweet shrimp, squid fennel, spinach and grilled sourdough; Watermelon & Gioia Burrata with pistachio, tomato and balsamic; and Washimi Wagyu Beef Ribeye with potato puree, seasonal vegetables and soy glaze. The restaurant also offers live jazz by The Bossa from 6-8 p.m. Thursdays and DJs Mike White and Paul Arther from 7:30-11 p.m. Fridays. Visit .

Kitchen 1540, Del Mar: A slow food and sustainable foods advocate, L'Auberge Del Mar’s new executive chef Scott Thomas Dolbee has introduced a dinner menu with house-cured foie gras pastrami, abalone with sunchokes and arugula puree, BBQ Pig Roast, roasted onsite in a wood-burning barbecue, and a Steakhouse entree with prime rib-eye, braised short rib and bone marrow gratin. There’s also John Dory, cobia and branzino, venison, cornish game hen and duck breast entrees and raw selections. Visit .

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Mission Valley: Through May 13, spring specials include Roasted Vegetable Flatbread, Grilled Chicken with Herbed Cream Sauce, Garden Turkey Burger, Panko Dusted Salmon, Fresh Spring Salad, Boutique Burger and Chocolate Mousse Cupcake. The spring beer selection to pair with these entrees is Maibock. Visit .

P.F. Chang’s: The Asian fusion restaurant chain has a new lunch menu with 20 combination plates priced at less than $10. Choices include chicken, beef, shrimp, noodle and vegetable dishes served with choice of hot and sour soup, egg drop soup or mixed greens salad. There’s also the new Dim Sum Lunch, which includes two orders of steamed dumplings with choice of soup or salad for $7.45. Visit .

Roppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar, La Jolla: The newly expanded menu features seasonal tapas that will change every few months. Spring dishes include Crispy Quinoa Cakes with coconut curry apples, celery, raisins and mango chutney; Yaki Soba with spring vegetables; daily seasonal fish specials and jidori chicken with crispy skin, shaved brussels sprout salad and a variety of steak dishes.

Roy’s: The Hawaiian fusion restaurant’s new spring prix-fixe menu offers a three-course menu for $36.95. Choices include three appetizers (Pea Salad & Crispy Pork, Seared Smoked Salmon, Kalua Pork Dim Sum), three entrees (Hanger Steak Frites, Asian Pesto Grilled Chicken Breast and Pan Seared Trout) and two desserts (“PB&J” or Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle). On Mondays only, diners can choose any three courses from the regular menu for $36.95.

Saltbox Dining & Drinking, San Diego:Chef Simon Dolinky’s new dishes include Roasted Marrow Bones with pickled onions and celery leaves; Chicken Liver Mousse with grilled green onions, pickled radish salad and sourdough bread; Hiramasa Crudo with vanilla-scented picholine olives, local citrus and arugula; and Strawberry And Parsley Salad with goat cheese and aged balsamic. His new large plate dinner dish is Jidori Chicken Three Ways, including Truffle Chicken Breast Roulade with cauliflower and truffles; Barbecued Drumstick with grilled pineapple and Chicken Thigh with peppercorn fricasee. Mixologist Erin Williams has also created two spring cocktails, Faint of Heart with Beefeater gin, aperol, balsamic vinegar, cointreau and angoustura bitters; and Indian Summer, a low-cal drink with cointreau, Hendricks gin, lemon uice, moddled blackberries, cucumber and sage. Visit .

St. Germain’s Bistro & Cafe, Encinitas: Chef Kaitlin Ramos’ new menu blends French classics with Vietnamese flavors, including Galbi-gui marinated flank steak with Asian pear puree; Banh Mi burger with American Kobe beef, pickled carrots and daikon; grilled tamarind lamb chops with Thai basil-mint sauce, shrimp and mango spring rolls, broiled Thai basil mussels, Korean flank steak crostini, Garden Bowl and French Exotic Bowl (with Vietnamese chile sauce, sauteed spinach, lemongrass-scented rice and choice of protein), strawberry mango shortcake, vegan rice pudding or chocolate coconut banana bread pudding. Visit .


Alchemy of the Hearth:Cooking classes are offered at 960 Rancheros Drive, Suite L, San Marcos. Alchemy of the Hearth is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Go to or call 760-233-2433.

Alta Vista Gardens:Mary Dralle offers cooking classes at Alta Vista Gardens, 1270 Vale Terrace Drive in Vista. Classes are $20 (unless noted) and include tastings and recipes; register to

Cafe Merlot:The restaurant in the Bernardo Winery holds wine and cooking classes at 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte in Rancho Bernardo; $50 per person; go to or call 858-592-7785.

Chocolate, Gifts & More:Chef Helen Graboski of Murrieta Valley Adult Ed will host five-week cooking classes on Tuesdays for all ages beginning April 24 at Murrieta Valley High School. Classes for children in grades 3 to 10 are 5 to 6 p.m. ($30 plus supplies); and classes for grades 11 through adult run 6 to 8 p.m. ($50 plus supplies). Students will learn how to make gourmet chocolate apples, nut clusters, gifts and appetizers. Register at 951-696-3805 ($10 discount for pre-registration two weeks in advance).

Cups Culinary:The cupcake lounge in La Jolla also offers classes at 7857 Girard Ave.; go to or call 858-459-2877 for prices and registration. Classes are $65.

Dallmann Chocolate Boutique: Isabella Valencia, owner of newly opened Dallmann Chocolate Boutique in the Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar, offers tastings classes. Classes are at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday nights with different themes. Classes are $35-$45. Go to or call 858-720-1933.

April 19:Chocolate, Cheese & Wine

May 3: Chocolate & Champagne

(Video) Overview: 1 Corinthians

Franco’s Home Chef Pizza Classes:Vista chef Frank Latino, a graduate of the International School of Pizza in San Francisco, is offering ongoing one- and two-day hands-on classes in pizza-making for wood-fired and gas-fired ovens. Seven- to eight-hour classes are limited to six and include lunch. For fees and locations, visit or call 619-890-4984.

Great News! Discount Cookware & Cooking School:The San Diego school hosts cooking classes at 1788 Garnet Ave. (in the Pacific Plaza at Garnet Avenue and Jewell Street); reserve to or 858-270-1582, ext. 3. Reserve early; classes fill quickly.

Inspired Gourmet:Inspired Gourmet offers cooking classes at 11 a.m. Saturdays at 29373 Broken Arrow Way in Murrieta. Classes are $45; go to or call 951-894-7551.

Italian Wine Specialist Certification series: The North American Sommelier Association hosts the only U.S. course offering certification in Italian wines expertise from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 28 and May 5, 19 and 26 (final exam on June 9) at Acqua Al 2 Ristorante, 322 Fifth Ave., San Diego. Course is $590. Register at .

Roppongi Sushi School:Roppongi Restaurant in La Jolla hosts Saturday Sushi School at 12:30 p.m. Saturdays. For $25, guests will learn how to roll their own California and Spicy Tuna rolls, followed by a three-course lunch with sake sipper and a take-home sushi-rolling kit and certificate of completion. Reserve to 858-551-5252.

Ro Z’s Sweet Art Studio:Rosanne Zinniger’s cake decorating shop and studio at 277 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, San Marcos, offers classes in cake decorating. There is also a kids cake decorating club for ages 7 to 11 one Saturday of every month; go to the website for dates. Store hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Classes sometimes have an additional fee for materials; check the website. Visit or call 760-744-0447.

Saltbox “Simon Says” cooking classes:Saltbox Dining & Drinking continues its cooking demonstrations and tastings at 4 p.m. every last Saturday (except May) at 1047 Fifth Ave., San Diego. Chef Simon Dolinky will host cooking demonstrations highlighting seasonal ingredients, and guests will learn to create a dish or cocktail with the chosen theme. Cost is $30. Reserve to 619-515-3003.

April 28:Strawberries

June 30:Ceviche

July 28:Gazpacho

August 25:Corn

San Diego Botanic Garden:Chef Elizabeth Podsiadlo, the “Opera Singing Chef,” holds cooking classes at San Diego Botanic Garden (different teacher as noted); classes are $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers (unless noted) and include recipes and tastings. Call 760-436-3036, ext. 206, or go to

San Diego Opera cooking classes: Great News! Discount Cookware & Cooking School presents several classes themed to the upcoming productions in San Diego Opera’s 2012 season. Cost is $54. Reserve to or 858-270-1582, ext. 3.

Sur la Table:The Carlsbad location offers cooking classes at 1915 Calle Barcelona (in The Forum shops). Email, call 800-243-0851 or visit .

Tea classes:Barbara Barker of Memories English Tea Garden in Vista offers themed classes and afternoon teas in a private Vista garden. For directions, call 760-945-0476.

The Casual Gourmet:Phillis Carey will teach simple meals to cook at home at the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle at the Solana Beach Boys & Girls Club, 533 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Email or call 760-942-1756.


Acqua Al 2:The Gaslamp Quarter restaurant hosts wine tastings during “Uncorked” the first Wednesday of every month at 322 Fifth Ave. in San Diego. For $20, guests taste four wine/spirit selections paired with four appetizers. Reservations are required; Visit or call 619-230-0382.

Blue Door Winery:The 10-acre vineyard has opened a tasting room at 1255 Julian Orchards Drive in Julian. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Cost is $8 for five tastings. Bottled wines are $19 to $29. Visit or call 760-765-0361.

The Grand Del Mar’s Club M:Part restaurant, part nightclub, part sports lounge, Club M invites locals and travelers to sip ‘n sup on global tapas, sophisticated cocktails, wine and beer, as well as dance and enjoy live entertainment. Noted architect Graham Downes designed and reconfigured the space to create a swank hangout with a lounge, bar, dining room, a large dance floor, and a stage for featured performances and DJs. 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; guest DJs 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; or 858-314-2700.

The Collective:Tasting lounge features one-of-a-kind, handmade boutique wines at 28544 Old Town Front Street in Temecula. Hours are 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 10 p.m. Sundays. Visit or call 951-693-4567.

Dudley’s Wine & Gifts:Dudley’s Wine & Gifts offers wine tastings at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays at 40675 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, Suite B5, in Murrieta. Call 951-461-2225.

ENO-Versity at the Hotel Del:ENO, the wine, cheese and chocolate tasting room at the Hotel del Coronado, has announced fall classes for ENO-Versity. Classes are $35 per person (unless noted) and start at 4 p.m.; go to or call 619-522-8546. The Hotel Del is at 1500 Orange Ave. in Coronado.

Fifty Barrels Winery and Tasting Room:Hosts tastings from 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays at 3800 Oceanic Drive, Suite 106, Oceanside. Go to or call 760-696-2998.

Harvest Ranch Market Del Mar:Wine tastings from 5-7:30 p.m. plus appetizers for $10-$20. The store is at 1555 Camino Del Mar, Suite 203, Del Mar. Call 858-847-0555.

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Hilton Garden Inn:Sommelier Kevin Frantze and emcee Bob Rauch will lead a tasting of six wines on select Saturdays this summer at the Hilton Garden Inn in Del Mar. Each 5 p.m. tasting is $29 and includes six wine tastings and a variety of specialty cheeses, fruits and nuts, plus a bottle of wine to take home or pair with dinner at Bistro 39. Go to or call 858-720-9500.

Holiday Wine Cellar:Daily tastings from 5:30-7 p.m. at 302 W. Mission Ave., Escondido. Wine Down Mondays feature five wine tastes for $5 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Mondays, and “Hop Over the Hump Wednesdays” are weekly beer tastings for $5. Go to or call 760-745-1200.

1 p.m. April 14:Imperial Red Ale beer tasting; $5

5 p.m. April 14:Gallo Signature series; $10

April 16:Syrah

April 23:Italy

April 30:Rose

May 7:Chardonnay

May 14: Blind tasting

6 p.m. May 17:Jaffurs Wine Cellars; $15

May 21:Sparklers

La Costa Wine Co.:Tastings are held at 6986 El Camino Real, Suite D, Carlsbad. Go to or call 760-431-8455.

La Valencia Hotel wine series:La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla has launched a wine program. The hotel is at 1132 Prospect St.; go to or call 858-551-3761.

Miramonte Winery:The Temecula winery hosts VIBE once a month with music, food, wines, champagnes, beers and DJs; the winery also hosts “Just Us Girls” at 7 p.m. every first Thursday. The event features wines, champagne cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and vendors. Go to or call 951-506-5500.

Monte de Oro Winery & Vineyard:These events are coming up at Monte de Oro Winery & Vineyard at 35820 Rancho California Road in Temecula. Wine club members receive discounts; go to or call 951-491-6551.

North County Wine Company:Brothers Jim and Bill Tobin have recently purchased North County Wine Company at 1099 W. San Marcos Blvd. in San Marcos. The wine bar and shop is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Friday Night Tastings are $10 and include seven wine tastings and snacks. Other weekly events include Tuesday Ladies Night, Meet the Winemaker Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Friday Wine Tasting Six for Six Saturday and Silver Sunday Special. Visit or call 760-744-2119.

Rossi’s Pizza:Hosts a wine group at 6:30 p.m. every first Wednesday at 156 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road in San Marcos. Tastings are $10, and there are discounts on bottles. Go to or call 760-727-4747.

SIP at Flavor Del Mar: This new wine bar in Del Mar Plaza offers wine tastings from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturdays for $12 at 1555 Camino Del Mar, suite 322, in Del Mar. Call 858-755-3663.

South Coast Winery’s wine blending competition:South Coast Winery will host its Earth Day wine blending competition, blessing of the wines and barbecue at 3:45 p.m. April 22. These will be an authentic processional tour through the vineyards, followed by music, dancing and a barbecue with wines. Tickets are $45; go to or call 951-587-9463.

Stone Brewing Co.:The Escondido brewery and restaurant is hosting events at 1999 Citracado Parkway in Escondido. The bistro also hosts movies in its garden during warm-weather months. Call 760-471-4999 or go to to check availability.

Tango offers half-price Wednesdays:Escondido’s Tango Restaurant & Lounge is offering half-price on all drinks and bottles of wine from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, as well as happy hour pricing all evening. Visit .

Vino100:Wine tasting events are offered at 5 p.m. at 133 S. Las Posas Road in San Marcos. Go to or call 760-591-9113.

Vinz Wine Bar:Full restaurant menu with wide wine menu by the glass or bottle. Tastings are from $5-$10 from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 3 to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and come with charcuterie and cheese. Live music on Saturdays. Vinz is at 201 E. Grand Ave., Escondido. Visit or call 760-743-8466.

Wine Smarties:The Wine Smarties presents internationally recognized WSET certification programs and other wine classes. The courses are ideal for enthusiasts, professionals or those looking to enter the industry. Go to or call 619-955-8884. Reservations required.

WineStyles:The Encinitas wine store offers wine, microbrews, cheese platters and panini after 5 p.m. and several specials each week. On Wednesdays, get a half-price glass or flight of wine after 5 p.m.; Thursday is Ladies’ Night; live music most Fridays and Saturdays; and Super Six Wine Tasting is on Saturday afternoons. WineStyles is open from noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Go to or call 760-633-0057.


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